So I wrote this for a friend of mine who suffers from psoriatic arthritis at quite a young age, it was a personal research project I took on to help her out in whatever way I could. It’s not much to read but I can safely say that the things I learned while putting this together had a massive impact on my views on movement quality and mobility training. If you want to know why I’m so obsessed with getting people moving well and feeling loose then this is why right here. Arthritis is reversible with the right course of action. Take a moment to look at your oldest living relative, your mother or grandmother, or if you’re lucky enough to still have your great grandmother around. If they’re crippled by arthritis you’re looking at your future if you dont do anything about it. Be proactive, just a few small changes to your routine could keep your quality of life relatively high well into your later years.
Now on to what I wrote for my friend…
Annoying Introduction Where I Try Get You Interested
Right I realise you’ve probably heard all of this before from your doctor or have read it all yourself, but please just indulge me for a moment so that I can at least say that I attempted to help.
After doing a little research into the nature of arthritis and common attempts at alleviating the discomfort it causes I believe that with a little honest effort on both our parts we can have you pain free and climbing trees again in no time. It may require a little investment of both time and money on your part, but living a pain free life where you’re able to fully flex at the hip joint is totally worth it.
Give it your best shot, if it doesn’t work at least we tried, if it does work then we’ll all be happy. You’re my guinea pig here, don’t let me down. X
Most of the texts I have read recommend light exercise as a way to both keep weight down and reduce the swelling, inflammation and general discomfort of arthritis. Things like swimming, walking and cycling seem to be popular recommendations; however I am personally recommending joint mobility. You don’t have a lot of time in the day to exercise; I get that, so when you do exercise you should get straight to the root of the problem and address it. Joint mobility, even 20mins a day, can improve the range of motion of your joints, reduce inflammation and swelling, and generally help you to function better in your everyday tasks.
I have enclosed in this folder a book on joint mobility for you to read at your leisure, it explains everything you need to know about the origins of the practice, the reasons why you should be doing it, and explains all of the essential drills much better than I could.
Also, because I am an absolute gent, I have also enclosed some videos from the amazing Steve Maxwell. I did a joint mobility seminar with Steve in July of this year and it was absolutely mind blowing. Very easy to throw these videos on the tv or laptop and move along with them.
Other than joint mobility I’d personally recommend a little strength training, nothing too crazy of course, but once your knees loosen up from the joint mobility a few squats, planks and lunges wouldn’t go astray. The stronger your muscles are the less you will load your joints with stress.
Let me preface this section with what I consider essential viewing for anybody, a video I found on youtube that I believe demonstrates that a correct diet can do wonders for anybody, check it out below:
Interestingly enough I’ve read that there were no reported cases of anything like arthritis before the 1800s. Whether that’s down to lacklustre medicine back in the day or the change in diet that was brought about by the industrial revolution is open for debate. What’s certain is that arthritis is a fairly common problem today.
Having read a few articles on the matter I’ve come across a couple of different schools of thought on ways to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, there seems to be a couple of common conceptions on the matter however. Specifically a list of things you should try to avoid, and things you should try to eat a lot more of.
Try to avoid
Try to include more
Omega 3 fatty acids
I’ve already spoken to you about omega 3’s in the form of supplementation, having read a little on their use by arthritis patients the figure commonly quoted was about 2g of EPA and DHA 3 times daily. Ideally this should really come from whole foods, however omega 3 capsules can be just as good (provided the concentration of EPA and DHA is high enough).
Omega 3 Sources (whole foods):
Walnuts/ Peanut Butter
Salmon/ Mackerel/ Fresh Tuna
Olive Oil/ Coconut Oil /Rapeseed Oil
Kale (king of all veg)
On the more extreme side of the diet coin, many people recommend a vegan diet to combat the symptoms of arthritis. While I’m not suggesting you do that, I think it serves to illustrate the dangers of dairy, red meat and processed foods quite well.
An elimination paleo diet seems much more realistic for most people going forward. Just ditch the processed foods, grains, legumes & dairy for one month, if the pain in your joints doesn’t calm down even a little then you have every right to say that I’m wrong. However it will help, as there’s far too much anecdotal & scientific evidence backing this diet up right now. Check out Robb Wolf’s website for more information.
If you give this a shot I’m fairly confident that you’ll be pain free before you know it. Really it’s a couple of minor changes to your diet and a 20minute workout routine once a day, worth a try at least.